Archive for the ‘Foreign Affairs’ Category

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Are presidents Africa’s new kings ?

November 1, 2010

Some African leaders enjoy absolute power and even some life-time presidents.Most if not all African leaders are selfish and don’t give a hoot about their people or countries.And we the African people are too passive. According to Foreign Policy PAUL BIYA of Cameroon is widely held as the Worst of the Worst !

A suave bandit who has reportedly amassed a personal fortune of more than $200 million and the mansions to go with it, Biya has co-opted the opposition into complete submission. Not that he’s worried about elections; he has rigged the term limit laws twice to make sure the party doesn’t end anytime soon.
Years in power: 28

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Pic of the Day

December 16, 2009

A woman walks past a Swiss watch shop displaying watches along with U.S. golfer Tiger Woods‘ portrait at a shopping district in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009. Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer said it will spend the next few weeks assessing- drop- its relationship with golfer Tiger Woods.

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Family Feud Over L’Oreal Billions

December 3, 2009

EXCLUSIF. Liliane Bettencourt revient sur la plainte deposee contre elle par sa fille

Sulphurous romantic case wich is the perfect reflexion of  Gide for its “zeal” and Mauriac for the nest of vipers.The sum is tidy but Bettencourt is billionnaire. The magazine Forbes estimated it in 2008 to 22.9 billion dollars, ranking 17th worldwide fortune.Only daughter of the founder of L’Oreal,Liliane created in 1987 the Foundation Bettencourt-Schueller, one of the best equipped of France, whose motto is “Giving wings to talent.”

But it is as staff that the billionaire “sponsor” since a decade her protege, the artist Francois-Marie Banier for huge amounts.Bothered with this huge cash flow,Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the only daughter of Liliane, has pressed charges against Banier, accusing him of manipulating her elderly mother and treating the cosmetics heiress as a human ATM.

In his way, he loved women. Especially the rich. Marie-Laure de Noailles has shaped him, presented to all of Paris in the late 60s and gave him some memories. Then it will be Paule de Beaumont, Sao Schlumberger, and finally Liliane Bettencourt, the richest woman in Europe, owner with her daughter Francoise, of 27.4% stake in L’Oreal, the giant cosmetics.

Since two decades, photographer, painter, novelist and dramatist François-Marie Barnier is the closest friend of the heir to the L’Oreal empire and her husband, Andre Bettencourt.He died in November 2007. Over the years, the stars photographer and the billionaire -whose fortune is estimated at least 22 billion euros -have become familiar faces of the world jet set . You can also spot them at Saint-Germain-des-Pres, strolling through the galleries of the Rue de Seine and the Rue des Beaux-Arts, with the driver waiting in the car.

In Moscow, Lille, Milan and Marrakech, exhibits of  Lilliane Bettencourt’s protege  is fully sponsored by L’Oreal. The internet website fmbanier.com is struck by the label of the cosmetics group. For family  friends, Francois-Marie Banier is like the son that Bettencourt have never had.

This intimate relationship put the fabulously wealthy heiress to in the heart of a big money story associated with painful family feud. The plot is tied in early 2008, just weeks after the death of Andre Bettencourt, the childhood friend of François Mitterrand, later Minister René Coty, General de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou. The couple’s only daughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, then file a complaint against X for “abuse of weakness” with the court of Nanterre. She asked the court to be interested in astronomical “donations” incurred by her motherto Francois-Marie Banier.

According to the political website  Bakchich.info, which broke the news, the amount is to be around one billion euros, taking into account registration fees. He has been paid several times over the past ten years, in the form of individual contracts of life insurance, subscribed before a notary, with one and only beneficiary : the art photographer. Liliane Bettencourt would also give to his friend paintings.

EXCLUSIVE. Liliane Bettencourt replied at her daughter for questioning her right to donate to a society photographer

Her daughter, author of recent book “Focus on the Bible” referring to relations between Jews and Catholics, is cold, since, with her mother. She insists that such payments have proliferated in recent years, which could mean that Liliane Bettencourt, 86, was abused and manipulated because of her age.

The old lady, this fall, has been questioned by the financial police which went to her home in Neuilly. “I have the right to have as I hear from my money, “they” she said in essence, refusing to undergo a medical test. Francois-Marie Banier has also been heard. According to his version, it is as “patron” as the heir of the founder of L’Oreal the “sponsors” its many activities. The prosecutor, Philippe Courroye, must now decide either to dismiss the case or to open a criminal investigation and appoint a judge.

Francois-Marie Banier and Liliane Bettencourt met for the first time in the mid-1980s, thanks to Nicole Wisniak,”Selfish” magazine founder.The vibrant photographer-painter-novelist easily charmed easily the wealthy heiress who has always loved the company of artists.François-Marie Banier is  conversation. Louis Aragon, Vladimir Horowitz, Samuel Beckett, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Francois Nourissier, Caroline of Monaco … He hung out with all sorts of great figures in the second half of the twentieth century, and knows about it. More recently, Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp are among its intimate, Barnier is the godfather of their daughter, Lily Rose.

A lunch with Francois-Marie is  innumerable anecdotes that peppers the conversation, and almost as many well proportioned compliments addressed to his interlocutor. Exactly what looks great in this world.Being a billionaire is willing to lose time in dozens of boards, to converse with boring bankers, talking stocks, dividends and wealth tax. When a artist burst into this soothing world, it weakens it or seduced. Folded in their Neuilly-sur-Seine mansion, Liliane Bettencourt and Andrew love to receive this character whom bragged about having found the name of the perfume Opium for Saint Laurent – Pierre Bergé has always denied – and had actively participated in the creation of the perfume” Poison” for Dior.

In 1987, in an album published by Gallimard, François-Marie signed his first photo of Liliane at the foot of her mansion’s monumental staircase. In Paris, at few steps of  the Saint-Sulpice neighborhood, the photo studio lab, archives of the Bettencourt’s family friend is a real Cave of Ali Ba-ba! A treasure of thousands of intimate photographs of all the people he has sailed with. For the names cited above, we can add those of Isabelle Adjani, Sylvana Mangano, Betty Catroux, Pascal Greggory, Marc Jabobs Madeleine Castaing, Nathalie Sarraute, Ines de la Fressange, Kate Moss, Mick Jagger .

Some portraits are truly exceptionals, models accepting to be shot on the spot, no makeup, no frills or fuss. None of these images are to be published immediately. A dream for the photographer and his model. Even accros the atlantic, “Vanity Fair” has devoted a year ago, an “ass kissing” profile about this”French dandy who made his camera an entryism companion.

Gradually, his property portfolio grows. Associated with an English lord, the director David Rocksavage, whose real name is the Marquis of Cholmondeley, he domiciled in his building three of its five real estate investment firm. There he also bought the apartment of the painter Leon Gischia’s widow.

But Banier  far away from living in a gold casttle, is always wandering in Paris searching for ” new faces”. Old ladies, beggars, children, young people in costume, sweepers: the human race is at mind. He has several albums devoted to these “Faces”. François-Marie Banier. Seductive, mischievous, rascal, a liar, funny, narcissistic, educated, snobbish, bitter, cynical, never fooled – not even himself – in short, Proustian. The company’s rich and powerful cant get enough. Moreover, he avoids social events.

Aside Liliane Bettencourt, one of whose financial advisers is none other than banker Florence Woerth, wife of the french Minister of Budget, will also play a battle for financial control of L’Oreal. Very attached to the roots of the French company, nor his daughter nor Liliane Françoise have so far agreed to cede the appetites of the Swiss multinational Nestle, the other major shareholder (26.4%) from L’Oreal. But in  April 2009, when the group celebrated its centennial , its ended the “pact” between the Bettencourt Nestlé. So anything can happen. And if the disagreement persists in the founding family, the risk will be great to see L’Oreal soon fall into the hands of the Swiss co-owner.

If convicted, Banier could serve up to three years in prison, said The New York Times. The charge is what the French call “abus de faiblesse” — the exploitation of physical or psychological weakness for personal gain.The charge is what the French call “abus de faiblesse” — the exploitation of physical or psychological weakness for personal gain.Meanwhile, Bettencourt-Meyers and her lawyer, Olivier Metzner, are asking for her mother’s finances to put placed under court authority. “We have already taken action against the predator,” Metzner told the BBC. “Now we are taking action to protect my client’s mother, to show that she is nothing more than a victim.”

Bettencourt has dismissed her daughter’s charges as nonsense, said the BBC. And in a rare 2008 interview quoted by The New York Times, the matriarch defended her friendship with Banier and questioned her daughter’s motives.

“I have known Francois-Marie Banier for more than 20 years,” she said. “My husband knew him for 20 years. What fly has bitten my daughter?”
source : Paris Match

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The estranged wife of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is making a 43m euros (£39m) a year divorce claim, according to a media report.

November 26, 2009
Barbara Berlusconi Attends Ethics Meeting At The Bocconi University

Veronica Lario filed for divorce in May, angered by a reported liaison with an 18-year-old aspiring hooker.According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Mr Berlusconi has offered Ms Lario, with whom he has three children, 200,000 euros a month on the top of  60[m] to 70m euros that have already been paid out.

But that’s barely enough for Veronica, she wants more and honestly she’s right, no amount of money could fade away the public shame and disgrace she has encountered between sex tapes,  the orgies, her husband private parts all over the internet.That was so hard and painful to take on that Ms Lario re-issued her autobiography and demanded a front page apology for his disparaging comments about women.

Mr Berlusconi’s vast fortune – which spans interest in media, publishing, real estate and investment sectors – is estimated by Italian financial journals to be some 9bn euros.Go on Girl !!!!

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Lloyds Prices Rights Issue at 60% Discount[Money Making]

November 24, 2009

A rights issue is when a company issues new shares and sells them to existing shareholders at a discount to the listed share price.The shares are being sold at a discount of 59.5% to Monday’s closing price in order to raise £13.5bn from the sale thus avoid taking part in the government’s banking insurance scheme – the Asset Protection Scheme.Shares in Lloyds, which is 43%-owned by the government, were up 1% in morning trading.

A total of 36.5 billion new shares will be issued – that amounts to 1.34 new shares for every one already in existence.

The sheer number of new shares has raised fears that the value of each one will be diluted.

Robert Talbot from Royal London Asset Management said the company’s fate is ultimately linked to the performance of the UK economy.

“I think it puts them into a much stronger capital position to be able to withstand whatever lies ahead. The crucial question facing the bank over the next two to three years is what happens to the UK economy,” he said.

Lloyds has 2.8 million shareholders and Britain’s largest number of private investors. Shareholders will meet on Thursday in Birmingham to approve the plan.

It will cost the average shareholder £336.67 to take part in the share sale. They do not have to buy the new shares but if they do not they will see the stock that they already own diluted in value.

The rights issue is part of Lloyds’ wider plans to raise about £22.5bn overall.

It said on Monday that it had secured over £8.8bn from a bond issue.

source BBC
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Last Night in Hollywood

November 22, 2009
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Actor Terrence Howard attends the 2009 CNN Heroes Awards held at The Kodak Theatre on November 21, 2009 in Hollywood, California.

more pictures

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An American Finds Love in Paris

November 21, 2009

J’adore,c’est vraiment excellent….Its beautiful, Paris is still the coolest city to live in, once there you truly appreciate “life”, you have this sense of being part of a real human world as opposed to other individualistic big cities( NYC, London…)

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